Monday, April 28, 2014

You must read this book - you have "Zero Alternatives" - Look for review coming soon!

Scott Walker is a fugitive from the quicksands of Finance, with one card to play, a silicon oracle coveted by billionaires, hitmen and hackers. As he fights for survival and vengeance, digging deeper into the dark heart of the global economy, one question torments him: what price will the world have to pay?
ZERO ALTERNATIVE is an action-packed conspiracy thriller that plucks at the base of human nature. When our grip on love, hope and morality starts to slide, the only future worth living is the one we choose for ourselves.

Author Bio:

Luca Pesaro was born in Italy in the early seventies, but he has spent a lot of his adult life in the US or UK. After long years gaining a degree and masters in the pseudo-science that is Economics he got bored, jumped the gun and became a derivatives trader in financial markets with several investment banks. Now reformed, he is writing full-time.
Zero Alternative is his first novel and he is hard at work on his second thriller.
He lives in London, is married to an awesome Italian lady and has two children who always manage to annoy, surprise and delight beyond any reasonable expectation.

One Customer Review stated:

5.0 out of 5 stars Read it 27 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Thrill a minute, unputdownable. This is a great novel with a brilliant contemporary plot, compelling protagonists and well drawn settings. The pace is like a Baldacci or Grisham but the characters more interesting and the narrative less formulaic.The insight into the financial markets is fascinating. Reminded me of Robert Harris's Fear Index but this is much more enjoyable. 
(this post is not a review - it is a paid ad)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Weaver's Web - An Epic Novel That Will Get Noticed - It's Just Too Good Not To!

"A Weaver's Web" by Chris Pearce is a book that is set in England right at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.  Henry Wakefield is a handloom weaver who is set in the old ways of doing business.  He eschews the new factories and all of the horrid conditions that people are forced to work in.  Henry could get a job working in a factory and moving his five children and wife, Sarah, out of their one room rental cottage that leaks when it rains and has a door that won't remain closed unless it is blocked with stones.

Sarah, getting tired of just eking out an existence on found potatoes for every meal, tries to convince Henry to allow her and the two oldest sons to get jobs in a factory.  Henry refuses - at least until he is evicted from his rental and is forced to move into the city life that Henry so despises.

This down-on-their luck family moves to the city, into living conditions that Sarah considers worse than the rental cottage they had to leave.  Added to the pressures is the fact that Sarah is pregnant with their sixth child.

Henry is a man who is desperate, and desperate people either make their situations better or succumb to the pressures.   Henry is forced to play life's last card that is dealt to him - but will that card get him a winning hand this last time?


This book is a perfect example of what is great about Indie Authors that don't let publishing companies telling them "no" stop them.  Pearce mentions that several literary agents passed on the book.  I think those agents might look back and think "why did I pass up that book" and kick themselves!

Pearce has obviously done his research about the period of time that the book is written in.  Not only will you grow to love the characters (or hate them), you will be taken back into a time machine and actually experience the period from many different perspectives.

When I saw the length of this book, I almost hesitated to review it as it would take some time.  At the end, I was wishing that it kept going.

The authors command of his characters is amazing.  I found myself alternating between hoping Henry Wakefield could just catch a break and wondering how anyone could be such a jerk.  This is a redemption story, but redemption sometimes comes with a great price.

One of the customer reviews says "this book needs to be made into a movie."  I have to agree.  I can't recommend this book enough if you like historical fiction (or even fiction in general).  You will be one of the readers that can say "I read Chris Pearce before he was famous."

To those literary agents who passed on this book, I have only this to say - the days of you being a gatekeeper deciding what should and shouldn't be read are soon going to come to an end.  To Chris Pearce I have this to say - you might be better off one day that an agent didn't take you up on it - because that cut will go to you when it catches everyone's attention.


  • The author creates characters that almost anyone can relate to.  I found myself identifying with some of them to the point where I was really feeling sorry for some of them.  I can totally relate to the pressures that many husbands feel when everything is riding on your ability to make enough money.  The characters will feel like close friends that you could call upon by the time you finish the book.
  • The setting and descriptions are awesome!  I probably learned more about the Industrial Revolution from this book than I could have from a college course devoted to it.  When you can learn something new and be entertained at the same time - well, that's just magical!
  •  There was not one issue in this book that I found with grammar or misused words - and it isn't a short story we are talking about. 
  • The one thing that bothers me is Pearce's writing style - it is so smooth and perfectly paced that I am sick with jealousy!

  • None what-so-ever.  I would have to stretch to come up with anything and it would be so petty that I would be embarrassed to write it on here
  • As of now - this isn't a series.  How are we going to get more!  LOL.
(I was given a free electronic copy of this book in exchange for a review - the review is my honest assessment of this work.)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Drug Lords, Mexican Prisons, Tequila, and beautiful women. What could possibly go wrong?

 Move over Bourne and Ryan, Flemming is coming.
I have been seeing this book all over the place on the internet!  I am going to review it, but until then I thought I would share! With a 5 Star rating with 19 customer reviews - it's gotta be good! - Nate

When Jack Fleming, former agent for the United States Special Forces, finds himself in a Mexican prison, he faces the choice between certain death behind bars and starting the greatest adventure of his life - an adventure that will lead him in pursuit of cash, drug lords, and the truth.

With his options limited, Jack finds himself deep in the dangerous world of the Alacran Cartel. As his journey leads him across the landscape of Mexico, Jack learns that he may not be on the side of the law after all, and that "the law” itself may not be as straightforward as it seems.

In a story packed with intrigue, murder and beautiful women, a brilliant adventure brings to light the true depth of human depravity and the surprising goodness that can be found even in the darkest places.

Customer review below:

Fast moving and fun! February 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very clever and well written. It's extremely fast paced which make it very hard to put down, thank God I discovered this one the way to vacation and got to read it pool side!

Amazon link

(Not a review - Courtesy Ad)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wisdom passed down - are you going to listen this time!?!

Sooner or later, it could happen to you!  Anyone who has ever had to care for elderly parents will see their own situations reflected in this witty yet practical guide.  You’ll also feel like you’re right by Pam Carey’s side as she outlines 49 essential points for navigating the trials of elderly living, the medical issues, and the inevitable loss that comes.  She illustrates each point with her own sometimes hilarious and often poignant experiences.
….Paul Eno, Publisher, New River Press

Pam Carey has written a story that is a must-read for those with elderly parents. It is a down-to-earth ride that will help anyone maneuver through the vagaries and difficulties of caring for loved ones in their senior years. Emotional, whimsical, witty, practical, funny and sad, it will become your reference guide. I recommend it with enthusiasm. --Dr. Ed Iannuccilli, Author, What Ever Happened to Sunday Dinner?

Everyone who is a caregiver to aging parents will see some of his story in this book. I loved the wit and humor that accompanies the journey that all of us who have elderly parents will experience. Above all, this book should be held close as a resource and a comfort in the difficult process of helping loved ones navigate their loss of independence. --Nancy Edmonds Paull, MS CEO, SSTAR Addiction Treatment and Health Care Resources

Finally, a succinct, humorous, and practical guide for care givers of elderly parents. Pam has thrown a lifeline of 49 helpful rules and a fact-filled appendix with every possible tidbit of information to Baby Boomers for taking care of their parents. With fresh, realistic and honest dialogue, she makes all the relationships in her book come alive. The book is a must-read! --Marilyn Elzey, Editor

(not a review)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

An uplifting book of poems - just what I needed today!

"Sing to me of words" by Kimberly Lynn DuBoise is a short book of very uplifting poetry.  I will admit, I am not an expert on poetry, but I am an expert on knowing what I like and what moves me.  The poems within this book do exactly that.

My two favorites that touched me were "My Choice" and "Journey."  I was at an uncertain point in my life, and these two poems brought things into perspective for me.  It was like having a good friend next to me giving me sage advice.

I would like to thank the author for sharing her talents and putting herself "out there" and maybe make someone elses day just a little brighter.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sometimes You Just Have to Root for the Thief!

"Shadowcursed" by Gelo R. Fleisher is a fantasy novella featuring a thief named Bolen.  Bolen is getting up there in years - 43summers have passed him by - and he wants to pull off one last risky job.  Why?  Well, just to see if he can still do it.  Now, you don't usually get to be 43 in the thieving occupation unless you are good, because in that line of work, failure usually means much more than losing just your occupation.

In his head, Bolen can still do all of the things he needs to do.  His body, however, might disagree.  When your knees make worse sounds than the rusty doors you are trying to open quietly, there could be some problems.  Jumping from rooftop to rooftop might also be thought of as a "younger man's game."

So who to target for your last "job?"  Hey, why not sneak into the the mayor's house who is known by all as the "Mad Lord" - sneak into his basement that is home to his vault of personal treasures and see what we can find?  Really, what could go wrong....  Apparently, Murphy's Law was alive and well during the Middle Ages as well.

I enjoyed this book immensely.  It took me all the way back to my Dungeon & Dragon playing days - and let's just be honest - it is sometimes more fun to be the "not so good" guy.  Fleisher does an excellent job all the way around in this story - I was hooked and couldn't wait to get home to keep reading it.  It is very apparent that Fleisher is a great story teller, not just a writer.  I was leery that in 78 pages that he would be able to develop the characters enough to make me care - but that worry left soon after I started reading the book.  Fleisher has a unique ability to build up an entire new world, characters, plot, and action in probably a third of the words that other writers take - and then they still miss the mark.  This is not to say that the story or the writing is overly simple or straightforward - but instead Fleisher chooses his words carefully and doesn't lose his great story to a blustering flurry of adjectives (such as I just used!).


  • Everything.  Plain and simple.  I am not exaggerating when I say that I loved it!
  • There was a point in the plot (which I won't spoil here) that puts Bolen in an impossible (literally) situation that just had me chuckling inside at it's absurdity.  It's not absurd because it's a huge stretch of the imagination, it's absurd because Bolen's life mirrors everyone else who has had the pleasure of living with Murphy's Law.
  • This is an easy one or two day read that you will wish you could somehow stretch into a Game of Thrones six book 8,000 page saga.
  • Fleisher even has a game that he created around the book himself.  Way to go, Gelo - raise the bar for all of the indie authors out there.  Keep it up and we will all hate you for it!!!  LOL.   What's worse is that it's FREE!


  • None.  Give me more!!!
Amazon Link 

Link to the Requiem Free computer game

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

By the Time You Hear the Thunder, it's too late...

What do you get when you intertwine flying prehistoric creatures, an extinct civilization, eight foot tall sultry goddesses, and Bugatti automobiles?  "Kokopelli's Thunder: Fall of the Anasazi" by Sean Cordry - that's what.

The Anasazi are people who live simple lives in impressive structures.  One could consider them almost boring, except for the fact that they raise pterodactyl type creatures from hatchlings and "imprint" with them using bagpipe like contraptions.  It is the ancient version of drone warfare, except scarier.  And they spit fire - not breathe fire - but spit it.  Two spits - one for fuel / one for fire.  Gross AND deadly!

The story jumps back and forth 700 or so years, which brings us to the beautiful yellow Bugatti that has no business driving around the desert.  A stolen artifact "recovery agent", winds up meeting Frankie, a stuttering boy, and his best friend, Turq - who is strong and wise for his age.  Did I mention a witch?  Oh, well this isn't the Wizard of Oz variety we are dealing with here - magic requires sacrifice.  And sometimes the results aren't exactly what you thought you wanted....

In his "About the Author" section, Cordry says that he has a talent for seeing and making connections between seemingly unconnected events.  This may be a huge understatement.  When I first started reading this book, I thought that Cordry was going to take us on a long and winding journey that would never quite reach it's destination.  However, Cordry lives up to his bio and pulls it off.  

I am a fan of the X-Files series, and this was like watching a couple of episodes together on peyote (I have never touched the stuff, for the record) - lots of unexpected turns with lots of supernatural events and enough deaths to make Conan proud.  I am talking whole civilizations here!  

I hope the author does well enough with this book to keep him writing.  There is definitely talent here - and I would love to see what combinations he chooses to tweak with next go-around.


  • Fabulous story.  This author obviously did his research about the Anasazi and their culture and beliefs (what little is known about them).
  • Enough action to keep your interest, but maintaining enough focus on character development and detail to spark your imagination.
  • Totally original - this is what I have come to love about Indie Authors!  This is a story that may never have been shared any other way.
  • No issues with grammar or spelling.


  • My only issue was trying to remember all of the different names of the Anasazi places and people.  But, to be fair to the author, I imagine "James Smith" wasn't a very popular name - especially since I have learned that "James" sounds a lot like "rabbit poop" in whatever language the author was using....
Amazon Link                              Goodreads Link

Friday, April 4, 2014

Time to Face the Music with Clive Stocker's How-To Guide "How to Become a Confident Performer"

"How to Become a Confident Performer" by Clive Stocker can help even the most novice of performers overcome their anxieties and fears that they may have about going on stage and avoid pitfalls that musicians commonly face.  The book is full of “tips & tricks”, so there is bound to be a nugget in the book that everyone can find.  I do not have a musical bone in my body (and have even been boo’d off stage during karaoke), but I can relate to this book and solutions as I have to speak in public frequently.

The book is nicely illustrated and written in a manner that doesn’t “talk over your head” and make you feel stupid if you made some of the mistakes that the author discusses.  The author states that he has over 15 years teaching music to people of all ages.  This knowledge shines throughout this book.  I would highly recommend this book for parents to give to their young musicians.  Perhaps they can learn the lessons from this book and avoid them in real life later on.


  •  I like the style of writing that the author uses in this “self-help” book.  Authors of this genre sometimes feel the need to “WOW” you with their intellect by over-complicating the topic and the advice.  It doesn’t matter what you know if you can’t transmit the knowledge to someone else. 

  • Grammar and spelling were not an issue.
  • I was given an excerpt, so I couldn’t get a “feel” for how long the book was or some of the other things that were covered in the book.  As a teaser, the excerpt is fine – but makes it difficult to give a full blown review. 
  • There were moments when the author sounded as if he were making excuses for musicians – “Musicians are usually very busy,” “Musicians often fail to plan because they don’t have time” (not quotes, paraphrasing…)     I want to meet the one person in this world that isn’t busy – it is as simple as this – some use time wisely and others don’t.  If you told the Marine Corps Sergeant that you didn’t have time to accomplish something the response would be – “Did you sleep last night?  Yes?  Then you had time….”     (Sorry for the rant – this is just a pet peeve of mine!) 
  • The all text cover doesn't jump out at you.  With the great illustrations inside, it makes the cover stand out even more.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Don't look down while walking on the tightrope in "Mindwire"

"Mindwire" by Carl Sampson is a Psychological Thriller featuring a Psychologist, Paul Clark, and a non-responsive patient by the name of Charlotte.  Charlotte is in the Psych Ward of a hospital, which is more like a living death sentence of drug induced compliance.  Not really living, and not close to death, Paul Clark is brought in to see if he can tear down the walls between Charlotte and the rest of the world.

What has Charlotte done to be put into the hospital?  She had a normal childhood, so no one could figure out why she would snap one and beat up her manager like she was Muhammad Ali.  Poor guy didn't even have a chance to try and rope-a-dope...

So what is the real story behind this 5'4" mini tower of terror?  Paul starts to get glimpses when he convinces the hospital to reduce the medications she is on...  As Charlotte starts to come around, Paul finds that there may be more questions than answers....  One that really has Paul wondering is that Charlotte knows things about him that she should have no clue about.

I found this book to be very action packed and an enjoyable read.  The descriptions of life inside a psych ward and the patient's futile efforts to convince everyone that they are sane is right on point.  I have seen this with my own eyes in the VA hospital system.  How do you prove you are sane in that environment?  How do you respond to treatment that is only "chemically induced" and no therapy?

I would love to go into the story about Charlotte, but I don't want to give any spoilers.  The author has done his research concerning the backstory, as I have read some other books on the topic that ultimately brought her to the hospital.

One of the reviews I read on Amazon said the ending wasn't believable.  I am pretty sure that is why it is called "fiction."  I don't mean to sound snarky, but if you want reality, read non-fiction.  If you want a well written, thought out plot with action and a strong female lead that is not afraid to drop the gloves and go MMA style - then this book is for you.

As for me - I plan on purchasing the second book "Sybil" and read it just because I want to!

Strengths - The plot and pace of action was outstanding.  I was able to connect with the characters and their problems.  Sampson was able to do this without going overboard on the details (he doesn't take 100 words to say when 10 will do nicely.)  The research was spot-on and I just happen to be a fan of the things that he combined and threw some action in on top of it!  Grammar and spelling were not an issue.

Weaknesses - I really can't say there were any glaring weaknesses.  The only thing that I will say is that the ending scenes did seem to go into areas that I didn't expect it to go into and thought the book would have been fine if it hadn't.  That being said - it might have been a set-up for the next two books in this trilogy - and it did not deter from my enjoyment of the book.

Amazon Link for Mindwire
(at the time of this review this book was FREE with Amazon Prime!)

Goodreads Link

"Soul Reborn" by Jean Murray

 Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore.

(not a review - ad for a friend as an example)